Wednesday, 21 September 2011

It's one of those days...

...Where I'm feeling a little sad about everything.. I am not one to usually feel sorry for myself or to play games with myself and wonder "what would life be like if Gage didn't have Spina Bifida?", but today I read that OHIP is covering surgery for Canadian mom's to travel to the US to have surgery to repair the child's spine in utero. Furthermore, they anticipate the surgery to be available in Canada as early as next year... We missed the boat by a couple of months. Now this is not to say that I would have jumped on a plane, alone and pregnant and travelled to the United States to have an invasive surgery to repair Gage's spine. To sit in a hospital bed for the remainder of my pregnancy, all alone, and risk delivering a child at 28 weeks gestation.

.....But I didn't get the choice.

I know sometimes I wish I could undo Gage's SB, but then he wouldn't be My Gage and I can't imagine him any different. I just wish I would have gotten to make that decision. I see the children that did have the in utero surgery, who are walking independently, living without shunts or chiari symptoms and then I look at Gage, who will likely always need assistance to walk, who has already had 2 shunt revisions, and a sympomatic Chiari and it makes me feel a little sad.
I wish I would have gotten the choice to choose a life that might have been a little bit easier for him.

As if I wasn't having a crappy enough day, I got a phone call from the day care co-ordinator at the YMCA and no one who runs a home daycare (that has an opening) will take Gage due to SB. They are obviously all uneducated and seem to think that my son is going to be a hinderance to their lives or other children in the home. It is so frusterating because Gage needs the same care that all the other kiddos do. and the main child care center has a huge waiting list. My EI runs out in 3 weeks, so now we have money worries too :( ugh...
I am beginning to see the challenges that come with his diagnosis. And I am having my first moments of frustration..

On a little better note, Gage is working his little butt off in physio and making me proud. It's these days that help me out of my slump and remind me why I am so damn lucky to have him in my life.
It appears as though Gage is functioning around an L2 level (his actual level is L5-S3), so he does have to work really hard but he is trying. We are working on tummy time and getting him to lift his head up off the ground.
When I see him making progress, and determined to get that darn head up, I can't help but smile. In those moments, I'm thankful for his spina bifida, because I have learned to appreciate the smallest things and the little milestones that are so important for Gage and his development. These things likely would have gone unnoticed if he didn't have spina bifida.
Here is my dude working hard :)

this monkey seriously owns my heart <3

Friday, 5 August 2011

Welcome Gage Gregory Rooney Colnar...Long Post with lots of Pictures!!!

I have been totally slacking in the blog department, so I am going to start with my delivery of my precious baby boy in quick time with lots of pictures, and the days following. For all who are about to journey through this post, some pictures are graphic or "sad" as most put it. If you have a queezy tummy you may not want to venture through this post. But for all who are curious, and for all who have been in my shoes, here is our journey :)
It started off as any typical day. Brandon was working and I was large and uncomfortable and hated being home alone. I decided to go on tow calls with Brandon that day in his truck; we ventured to sudbury and then to hamilton and back, 12 hours in the tow truck. I was had a sore back which wasn't anything out of the ordinary for me, and we were joking that I was ready to have this baby any day, never expecting that I was already in labour and just didn't know it!
Fast forward to 1am..I kept waking up in the middle of the night with awful back pain. Since I had crippling UTI's in my pregnancy, I assumed this was the beginning of another. I tried to tough it out and by 3 am I decided that I should probably go to the hospital and get some antibiotics before it turned into a kidney infection or something worse. Not thinking I could be in labour, I told Brandon to stay in bed an sleep, kissed him goodbye and told him I would call if I needed him.
I arrived at emerge and the nurse asked if I was in labour, I laughed and said no, not yet... jokes on me. When they hooked me up to the monitor, i was horrified to see that my back pain was in fact a contraction.
 "well sweetheart, looks like you're in labour!" I'm in WHAT? I can't be. He's not supposed to be here for another 5 weeks. Sure enough.....I was having this baby whether I was ready or not.

I called Brandon and chaos began. He packed a bag (for him and Gage and forgot about mom lol), and made it to the hospital just in time to give me a kiss goodbye. I started to cry then, fear was getting the best of me. It was a short cry, just had to get it out of my system lol.. Brandon reminded me everything was going to be ok; he got in the car and began the drive to TO. I was given a medication to stop my labour so I could get airlifted to Toronto without delivering mid-air. Of course Gage decided to come on a day when it was raining and windy. The plane shook violently the whole way there, but surprisingly I was much calmer than I thought I would be. I think it began to sink it that I was going to be a mom by days end. I was going to be a mom to the most amazing little boy. I look like hell, and was terrified!! lol


I arrived at Mount Sinai at around 9:00am and my active labour began at 10:30. I was 3-4 cm when i got to the hospital and my labour moved pretty quickly.
My contractions weren't terrible, they were tolerable, but were getting closer together. Since I was given the option of an epidural, I decided not to be a hero and take the meds. I waited until I was about 6 cm dilated at around 3pm the epidural was administered. This was the worst part of my whole labour and delivery. It took about 15 pokes to actually get the catheter in, and sent my back into spasms. (This hurt much more the next day once the bruising started)
Needless to say, I was ready to go after this :)


The nurse gave me a nice cocktail of drugs and I couldn't feel much. I could certainly feel the pressure of the contractions and knew I was getting close. I had lots of visitors that day, and even a special visitor from the spina bifida forum that was my saving grace during pregnancy. Meet Amanda :) She knew all the right questions to ask for me, since she had already been in my shoes a year earlier. I was so thankfiul to have her!

The delivery doctor came in (who happened to look like a handsome soap opera actor, just my luck) and broke my water. Things moved very fast after that. Before I knew it I was 10 cm dilated and ready to start pushing. It was 6 pm, I was tired, hungry and so scared. It was then that I realized the craziness was about to begin. The doctors started coming in to talk to me, and then everyone left the room. Just me, Brandon, the nurse and some ice cubes. I pushed and pushed (totally afraid that I was going to poop on the nurse, which thankfully never happened) I didn't yell, swear, cry... thank you epidural. I would push 3 times, eat an ice cube, push 3 times, eat an ice cube. It was a good system, and within 30 minutes I was being moved to the OR. This is when the nerves really set in. I could feel the pressure, I had to push. The baby was right there.. I was in a room with more doctors then I had ever seen, all ready to do their part with Gage, each having their own role in his care. 2 more pushes and I saw my baby boy make his appearance at 6:47pm...I instantly started to panic. 1) He had a huge sac on his back. No one prepared me for this. This was my biggest fear and the reason I wanted a c-section. I had no idea what this meant for him. 2) It didn't look like he was breathing and he wasn't crying. He was taken out of the room with all his doctors in tow.... I cried then. Brandon and the nurse left to go be with him while I got fixed up. The nurse was so sweet and came back with pictures of him so I could see my baby crying and doing well.
They took me over to him as soon as I was out of the OR. Here are the first moments with my little dude :)


I couldn't believe how much I loved him already. I couldn't keep my eyes off of him. I didn't want to leave his side. I instantly felt like a mom. It was an amazing feeling. I remember seeing his legs kick and I started crying again. It is one of those things that lingered in my mind the whole time I was pregnant; it was an unknown-would his legs move? and they did.. boy did they kick. He came 5 weeks early and weighed in at 6lbs 5oz and had no premie symptoms at all. I knew right then I had a fighter. I was given a little trooper. This kiddo really was mommy's little over achiever, and I knew I was lucky to be his mom.

Things slowed down a little after this and Gage was transferred to the NICU for the night before going over to Sick Kids. When I went to visit him early the next morning, Brandon and I got to hold him for the first time. We had been waiting in anticipation and it was finally time..


I really wanted to enjoy this moment. And I did. But I knew what was coming next, and the thought of this little guy going into his first surgery made me sick. I did not want to let my baby go. I didn't want to see his tiny body hooked up to monitors and too, I didn't want him to be in pain.
He was transferred over to Sick Kids after this to prep him for surgery the next morning. This is when we finally got a good look at his back for the first time. What I saw shocked and scared me. It wasn't the little lesions that I had heard and read about. This was much different. Not for the faint..

 For those that are seeing this for the first time, please keep in mind this is not typical. If you look super closely, you can actually see the spinal cord running along the top of the sac. It was really hard to look at this. It measured 5x5 and looked like an organ. Plastics came in to assess him and tried to make a plan. The warned us that his closure may not look like what expect. They said it may have to be round and pulled in a circular pattern to close it completely, and they may even need to use skin grafts if there was not enough good skin. They would start peeling away the layers and see what happened when they got in.
My baby boy went in for surgery at 9am the next morning...I cried. I bawled in fact, watching your 2 day old baby get wheeled into surgery was excrutiating. It ripped me apart. Then we had to wait.. and wait.. 4 hours. But our little fighter proved everyone wrong again. This is what he looked like before...

And after....

It was a perfect closure. Better then anyone could have expected. We found out then that his lesion level was L5-S3. Gage had made it through his first surgery and was doing so well...

4 days later...

And a month ago...

Gage's incision is now almost completely faded other than a beautiful red heart over his lesion. How fitting :)

At 5 days old Gage had his first shunt put in. He had his first revision on June 30th at approximately 6 weeks old, and another revision 8 days later. 3rd one is a charm so far. We have also discovered that Gage may have a symptomatic Chiari. Thankfully his vocal cords are ok, and he has no breathing problems, but it has created a large syrinx in his spine located from C4-T6. His next surgery may be a decompression sooner than we would like... Yes it is hard, but as moms you just find the strength deep down inside you to be a rock for your kiddos. He needs me, so I suck it up and stay strong for him.
I could go on and on about our days and weeks at the hospital, but those days are behind us now. We are happy going to our regular check ups and showing off how well he is doing. Gage is now 12lbs 10oz, healthy, happy and an absolute joy.
If you're saying "I just can't imagine".. neither could I. Never in a million years would I have pictures myself in these shoes. Having a little baby with different needs than most babies. But let me tell you something else; never in my life would I have pictured myself this happy. this proud. this confident in who I am. Gage has changed me forever as I person. Many people will go through life never really knowing their purpose, never understanding why they were put here and what they are supposed to do. I was put here to be Gage's mom. And he was given to me to show me what it truly means to be happy. Gage brings light and joy to so many people, even those just passing by. He really is my little miracle, I am such a lucky mom <3

Here are some more pictures, enjoy!! I know I am :)
Preofessional Shot in hospital










Wednesday, 11 May 2011

To All The Mommy's...

Happy Mother’s Day (from a special needs perspective) - By Misty Boyd

The following is reprinted with permission from the blog of Misty Boyd, "Broken Body/Whole Spirit."


If I could be a little girl again and know the things I know now, I would thank my mom a lot more for the sacrifices she made for me when I was growing up. So, for Mother’s Day, I’ve decided to use what I know now to thank her and all the other spina bifida moms I know for things I wasn’t aware of then.


Thank you for giving me life when “they” said I’d be better off dead. Thank you for fighting on my behalf when I was too little and weak. Thank you for loving me even though you were scared. Thank you for becoming a nurse in our home long before you were ever a nurse at a hospital. I know that must have been intimidating. Thank you for learning what all those tubes were for, and where they went, and how they helped me. Thank you for countless doctor visits and E.R. visits, no matter what time I needed to go. Thank you for walking up and down the halls of the hospital with me while people gawked. Thank you for your paranoia about every little thing that didn’t seem right. I know sometimes you thought you looked nuts, but I’m sure it kept me alive more than once. Thank you for yelling at doctors when they said, “She’s fine,” when you knew me well enough to know I wasn’t. Thank you for the ugly stares you gave back to people when I was doing my best to learn to walk. Thank you for being patient when other kids my age were running circles around me. I needed more time. Thank you for remembering countless medications, and cath schedules, and putting my AFO’s on for me, and dressing me when it took me a little longer to learn. Thank you for yelling at me when I wouldn’t take care of myself as a teenager (not that it worked…I’m stubborn). Thank you for making me stubborn. I needed that attitude. I don’t know how I would have made it without my pain in the rear attitude. Thank you for pushing me to do everything you knew I could do, and I knew I couldn’t. Turns out, you’re pretty smart. Thank you for letting me do things you were scared of. I know I terrified you sometimes. I had to know if I could ride my bike down that hill at supersonic speed. I could. Fun! Thank you for making me know that I was worthy of love. I never let a boy tell me anything different. There were a lot of worms, but I dropped them all for something I knew I deserved. Thank you for cheering at my graduation. If my doctors had it their way, that day wouldn’t have come, but you believed. Thank you for spending countless hours planning that crazy wedding, yet another thing that wasn’t supposed to happen. And thank you for forks! LOL! Only my mother will get that one! Basically, thank you for stepping into an unfamiliar, scary world, that you didn’t sign up for. I appreciate it, and I think you did a great job! I turned out okay!


Your SB kid

SB moms…please know that your children feel this way, or at least they will when they look back on their lives and see all you’ve done for them. Take this letter as your own. I wrote it for all of you, from your babies who can’t tell you any of this yet. Happy Mother’s Day!
I hope I can step up and be as good as mom to Gage as this woman has been to her daughter. I hope Gage knows I will fight to the moon and back to give him everything he needs. I hope he knows I will never give up on him, no matter how many people think I should. I hope he knows how proud I am to be his mom already.
5 weeks seems like such a long time to wait. My next appointment is at 38 weeks in Toronto, and I am pretty determined to convince those docs to induce me. Gage was already 5.5 pounds at his 34 week ultrasound, so we know he is going to be big and healthy LOL. The thought of delivering a 9-11 pound baby really doesn't sit too well with me, as with any other mother I would assume haha. If I am already in Toronto at 38 weeks, why not just keep me there and get it over with instead of sending me home to have to fly me out again a short time later.. seems silly to me..
I am very much done being pregnant. The closer I get to delivery, the more nervous I get. I hate that there are still so many unknowns, and I am going to worry myself sick with everything until the day the neurosurgeon comes in and tells me that everything is OK. Brandon- cool as a cucumber.. as per usual. I wish I had nerves of steel like he does. I am kind of glad he will be going over to the Sick Kids hospital with Gage first; I would just be a mess and of no help to anyone. I will be anxious to get over there as quickly as possible, but I know Brandon will be able to hold it together in the midst of all the craziness after delivery.
So if i have it my way, Gage will be here in 3 weeks. :) The hard part is almost over... See you soon little man

Thursday, 21 April 2011

What to Expect When You're Expecting...Yeah Right!

This little man sure likes to keep us on our toes... Last week I had soem bleeding which of course sent Brandon and I into a slight panic and a trip to the hospital at 1am. After bloodwork and tests and being hooked up, they determined that Gage was fine, and sent me home. Yesterday I get a call from the hospital saying I had to come back, that there were some concerns with my bloodwork. Turns out that there are small traces of Gage's blood in with mine (I am a negative blood type, so this can be damaging to the baby and future pregnancies) so I had to get another Rhogam shot in the hip followed by more bloodwork. Here is hoping that the shot does it's job. If it's not one thing it is another with this darn pregnancy! One good thing came from this though, the doc finally agreed to do ultrasounds every 2 weeks from now until I deliver to be safe. YAY! Finally, some common sense and peace of mind. On that note, it also appears as though Gage has flipped (head down), DARN!!! I was hoping he would stay breech and then they would have to scedule a section. Oh well, Gage is making the rules and will make his appearance however he feels most comfortable I guess :)

In the last couple weeks, I have also come to accept that nothing is predictable in this pregnancy. I can not follow guidelines, or "what to expect when you're expecting"... No where in my pregnancy 'bible' does it talk about Spina Bifida or what to expect with such a diagnosis. It doesn't prepare me for the overwhelming fear of delivering a child that will then be taken out of my arms to another hospital. No where does it prepare me for the NICU or for all the medical mumbo jumbo that seems to be filling my brain. It certainly doesn't prepare me for all the unknowns. Instead, I have had to accept that no matter how badly I want control of this situation, it is not going to happen. I have to put complete faith and trust in Gage's doctors and be confident that they are going to make the best decisions for him. If they are certain that a natural delivery is going to be ok for him, then I have to believe that too.

Adding to that, I keep seeing these charts and blurbs about milestones and at what age your child should be reaching them.. and I am beginning to realize that Gage likley won't meet these milestones at the same time as other children, but I am keeping faith that he WILL hit them at some point. He will sit, he will stand, he will walk. He may do it differently, and he may need to work a little harder, or get tired a little faster, but he will do all these things that some seem to think he won't. I don't think I am getting ahead of myself, or wishing for things that may not come... I think Gage is showing us how feisty he is. I think this little man is going to amaze me every single day. I am so proud to be his mom, and Brandon is proud to be his dad.
We can't wait to meet him. <3

PS. Baby shower May 7th!! Finally some normalcy... I am SO excited to have everyone in one room to celebrate Gage's soon-to-be arrival!

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Welcome to my rant!

I waited a week to write this. I needed some cool down time to process all the recent events and try to find the positive aspects in it all. I probably would have scared everyone away had I have written a week ago.
The doc's appointment on the 31st was great as far as Gage's prognosis goes. His vents are stable at 17mm and show no signs of increasing. His movements are good, his heartbeat is strong and he is growing perfectly; all excellent things.

Irritant #1: The ultrasound tech didn't let me see the baby. I understand that these appointments are not for the purpose of showing off the baby. I know that these are check ups and diagnostic ultrasounds but I travel 4 hours for these ultrasounds. The least they can do is turn the screen for 30 seconds so I can see the little guy move around. Not only that, but it gives me a little peace of mind knowing that he is doing ok in there. I have enough anxieties with this pregnancy, and the last time someone turned a screen away from me they threw a spina bifida diagnosis on me.. Thankfully nothing was wrong this time, everything is perfect and they have no concerns with Gage.
I meet with Dr. Ryan who is my delivery doctor; this is my first discussion with him about the delivery plan. As everyone knows I have been so torn with the decision of c-section or natural birth. All doctors and professionals I have come in contact with throughout this journey have supported me in whichever course I chose to take, and have reassured me that I needed to do what felt right for me. I decided (after many weeks) that a c-section was going to be best. I was confident in that choice, especially with me living so far from the delivery hospital. I knew this would make everything easier, I felt it was best for me and Gage, and this way all the doctors could be there and prepared for his birth. Boy, was I in for a surprise.

Irritant # 2: "I think I would like to have an elective c-section".....His response: "too bad, I will not perform a c-section unless absolutely necessary".....Pardon?
His in-my-face response caught me completely off guard and it was not at all what I expected to hear. Of course I started to bawl. Here I thought I had made the best option for us; I had done my research and talked to other moms, and never once thought I would be told 'no'. I was MAD. Brandon.. poor Brandon.. is trying his best to comfort me and I was just so ticked off. The doctor was confident that Gage would do well in a natural delivery, and becuase I am young and healthy, I would do well too. My nice cozy birth plan was now a complete mess.

Irritant # 3: My new birth plan (if you can even call it a plan)... Check my cervix starting at 36 weeks for any signs of labour. As soon as my OB thinks i am "favourable" for delivery, or if I go into labour he is to have me airlifted out of here to Sinai. It appears that Brandon cannot travel with me, he will have to drive. Adding to my anxieities about this so-called "plan", should there be an emergency and I need to deliver in North Bay, the baby is likely to be transported to CHEO instead of Sick Kids because CHEO is the northern point of contact... So everything I have gone through in Toronto, and all the doctors I have met with have been for nothing.

Irritant # 4: No more ultrasounds until 38 weeks. Ok, so I understand that this isn't totally uncommon for some women, but this is uncommon for spina bifida child with hydro. That means I am going 10 weeks without a check up on Gage. I am so happy his ventricles are stable now, but that could change at any time. 10 weeks with no check up does not sit well with me at all.

Everyone keeps saying that if the doctors aren't concerned then I shouldn't be concerned, but it is so hard not to be. I was feeling so prepared and ready and comfortable with the way things were going, and now I feel like I have totally lost all control in this pregnancy. Brandon is at ease knowing that the doctor's are happy with how well Gage is doing, and yes I am happy too, but I am so overwhelmed and wrapped up in the 'what-ifs' now, that I anticipate these last couple weeks to be long and stressful. I just hope that everything goes smoothly come Gage Day. Ugh.

On a more happy note, my baby shower is coming up. I am very excited for our families to all finally meet eachother. It is something to look forward to :)

Friday, 25 March 2011

Real Time

We had our 3D ultrasound yesterday, and I must say that I am so glad I made the decision to go. I was terribly afraid that I was going to see a less than perfect baby, so I was feeling a little nervous in the days leading up to it. I also had this predetermined image in my head of what I think his lesion is going to look like (call me crazy) based on previous ultrasounds and was scared to see it in 3D. I had this horrible fear that his lesion would suddenly be ginormous, and I was not prepared to see that. Brandon, being calm, cool and collected as always told me I was being silly and needed to relax. I still do not understand how he remains so unfazed by everything; he's such a  rock :)
So Brandon, Denise and I piled in my car for the trip. I had requested that they not show me the spine yet. Brandon was ready for it, he wanted to see it, I was still not ready. It's a weird thing...I can look through all these blogs of other families and kids, and look at all the surgery pictures and befores and afters, yet I was terrified to see that of my own baby. I'm not in denial of the spina bifida, I feel quite prepared and very at peace with it, so I'm really unsure of why I am still so scared of such a little part of who he is. I assume it is just fear of the unknown and I imagine everything will change once Gage is here.
anyways, I'm rambling. LOL... We had the ultrasound and it was amazing. It was unbelievable to see Gage in REAL time. We got to examine every little feature and watch his little fingers and toes move (yes, I have a video of his toes moving; another exciting moment). We got to see him yawn, and squint and hide his little face with his hands. As we all predicted, he has so many of Brandon's features, but was blessed with my big squishy cheeks we think. He was perfect. He was unflawed. There was nothing "less than perfect" about him.
I was even ready to see his spine because I soon realized he was just like every other baby. However, Gage was sitting on his lesion as always, and absolutely refused to move. Because of the shadow he was making we were unable to see it; I didn't mind.
Putting a face to baby Gage has made this much more real. Only 11 and a half weeks left... The first chapter in this journey is quickly approaching its ending.. YIKES!!

Here he is. Our precious Gage. Much more than perfect <3


Thursday, 3 March 2011

Gage the Overachiever!

March 02, 2011 : 25 week check up day.
As comfortable as we are becoming with our trips to the hospital, there is still a little anxiety before we go into the room to see Gage in real time. We always go in hoping for the best, prepared for the worst, and holding our breath until they tell us we can breathe again. Although we are over the diagnosing stages, "check ups" can still bring bad news. And of course on this day, the doctors were wayyyy behind schedule. More stress.
Brandon and I waited 2 long hours in the waiting room before I finally asked what was going on! I guess there had been an emergency which pushed all the appointments back, but my nurse (being the sweetheart that she is) said she would try and sneak me back for my scan, as long as I didn't mind going to the "dungeon room" LOL.. we didn't mind. So off we went to see little Gageroo in a tiny cramped room. Gage was uncooperative as per usual and they had some difficulty getting a good picture of his brain but they managed. But he was so cute scratching his head :) I had to giggle.  Unlike our previous ultrasounds, Gage was more than willing to show us his spine this day. We finally got a nice clear look at it, and got a better understanding of how his spine was different from other babies. They continue to say that his lesion is low lumbar/sacral area and measured approximately 1.1 x 2 cm... whether this is good or not, I'm not sure but it seems small to us. It looks as though there is a sac covering his lesion, but this hasn't been confirmed. I asked for pictures to post so I could explain things a little better to everyone, but given the dungeon room and the craziness, it just wasn't possible. Sorry everyone, hopefully next time!!
So the highlight of our day....
We had a new ultrasound tech today, and she thought she would check to see if she could get him to kick his legs for us. As most of you know, this is a huge concern for us (and probably all SB parents); Will he be able to move his legs? The tech started poking at poor Gage and irritating him, and then we watched the screen and waited... and waited... and sure enough, I got a good swift boot in the belly. Then another. It looked as though his left leg was weaker than the right, but then he began kicking that one too. The tech said these are voluntary kicks!!! Of course anything can happen in the next 15 weeks, and we have no idea what his spina bifida will look like until he is here, but so far our little man is showing us that he is doing his best in there!! So yes, I am feelings kicks, not punches :)We were very proud in that moment, and realized that moment was one of many that will come with being parents of a child with spina bifida. We have learned to appreciate the small things, and are truely amazed by everything he does, no matter how insignificant it may seem to anyone else :)
After our ultrasound we shuffled over to genetics quickly for some information and an update. Our wonderful friend Ronni informed us that Gage had his first test and got a perfect score!! I am so proud of my little overachiever today. Take a look! (I know, I know.. I am already that bragging mother I swore I would never be)

All in all, he is growing and developing exactly as he should. His bones are a good length and are all straight, his muscle tone is good, and his movements are great. His heart beat was 128bpm which made me panic because it has always been above 150bpm, but the doctor reassured me that this was normal as babies grow bigger. Gage is sitting at almost 2 pounds (850 grams), so he is a healthy boy :) His ventricles are measuring bigger than last time; he is now sitting at 16 and 17mm so of course they will continue to moniter him and watch his brain. They still haven't given him the official hydrocephalus diagnosis though. They are still saying it is only ventriculomegaly (dilated venticles) but we are prepared for what's to come.

So where does that leave us today?? 14 weeks away from Gage Day is where it leaves us, and we are trying to decide on a birth plan. As some of you know, North Bay is terrified of me and the idea of having to deliver this baby. My OBGYN's statement was "What am I supposed to do if you go into labour early?!" ... seriously? Very reassuring, thank you! So, should I go into early labour while at home, I will be airlifted out to Mount Sinai. I am now really struggling with the decision to have a natural delivery or an elective c-section. With Gage's diagnosis and the opening in his spine, I am totally freaked out about a natural birth, but at the same time a c-section is major surgery and it will be a longer recovery. The hospital, of course, is pushing for a natural delivery (induced on a chosen day)  but I have many anxieties about the risks that may come for Gage. I get to make one decision in this pregnancy, and I can't seem to do it. I will inform everyone when I know!!

Overall, this visit was one of the best ones yet. There was no bad news, no concerns, no worries. We were shown on that day, that our little man is going to amaze us every single day. He is going to prove people wrong, and he WILL when everyone says he won't :)

Love Shayna and Brandon <3